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The Great Gatsby: A World Premiere Musical

Date: Mar 22 - Apr 07, 2024

Fountain Hills Theater presents the World Premiere of the musical The Great Gatsby. This sparkling musical beautifully captures the glamour, wealth and materialism of the Roaring ‘20s. A self-made millionaire, Jay Gatsby’s desire for wealth, popularity and power in the Jazz Age, hides a deeper passion: his love for Daisy, the woman he met and fell for years ago, but who has since married wealthy Tom Buchanan. Don’t miss the world premiere of this new musical pulsing with the beat of the jazz age.

The Great Gatsby, based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic, is directed by Peter J. Hill, musically directed by Jay Melberg and choreographed by Noel Irick. Book and lyrics by Peter J. Hill. Music by Jay Melberg and Peter J. Hill. *Rated PG-13 for mature subject matter.

When FHT’s Artistic Director Peter J. Hill saw that the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ was to fall into public domain in 2023, he saw that the novel was ripe for musicalization. Bright, unique characters and a touching, but tragic tale set in the Jazz Age called out to him as a musical. Studiously avoiding the film versions and concentrating on how to bring this classic story to the small stage at FHT, Hill began work on the libretto and lyrics in 2021 during the COVID pandemic.‘It was wonderful to reread the novel and realize that some of the most famous quotes from the book, suddenly and delightfully became song titles for me. I mean “He looked at her the way all women want to be looked at by a man” or “Reserving judgements is a matter of infinite hope.” And even “Can’t repeat the past?... Why of course you can!” are just great song titles, right?’

Hill says; ‘We also face the challenge of FHT’s small stage, but that’s a challenge faced by so many community theaters across the country that I wanted to keep the musical within their range and budgets. This, of course, means that we cannot bring the classic ‘yellow coupe’ of the novel on stage, but we’re hoping it’s handled in a way that fully tells the story without requiring the actual cars on the stage.’

Hill is the author of many musicals including The Ballad of Buzzard Basin, The Three Musketeers, Could You Repeat the Question, The Man Who Would Be King and others. He chose to team with his musical writing partner, Jay Melberg (A Christmas Carol: The Musical) to compose the jazz influenced score. Together, they hope to do justice to this great American novel, its author and the wonderful characters that populate its pages.

In the past decade, an increasing number of Hollywood movies have served as the basis for stage musicals. This reversed a 60-year trend during which musicals that were hits on Broadway, such as Show Boat, West Side Story, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music and others, were eventually turned into successful films.

Artistic Director Peter J. Hill has devoted the current season to this phenomenon with the season comprised almost entirely of movies adapted to the stage.

The Great Gatsby will play March 22 – April 7, 2024.Performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30PM and Sundays at 2PM. Individual tickets are $35.00. Seniors receive a $5.00 discount on all Thursday performances. Group, Active Duty and Veteran discounts are available. *Rated PG for mature themes.

All performances are at Fountain Hills Theater on its Mainstage at 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd. (The Corner of Saguaro and Rand). Tickets are available through the Theater Box Office at (480) 837-9661 x3 or by visiting fhtaz.org. Box Office Hours are 10:00AM-5:00 PM Tuesday through Saturday. For additional information not contained in this press release, please call Fountain Hills Theater Artistic Director, Peter J. Hill at (480) 837-9661 EXT. 7.

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